O’Berry Center Foundation - Board of Directors
President – Travis Kibler - Inwood, WV
Vice President - Mark Curnutte - Centerville, GA
Treasurer – John Gouldie – Raleigh, NC
Secretary - Lori Phillips - Wendell, NC
Cathy Sasser - Goldsboro, NC
Jamie Wester-Mauldin - Mount Olive, NC
Juan Garcia - Pikeville, NC
Charlene McCarty - Goldsboro, NC
Lisa Minchew - Goldsboro, NC
Jeff Whitener - Mount Olive, NC
Jared Burgess - Goldsboro, NC
Zachary VanRensselaer - Goldsboro, NC
Kaitlynn Eck Roten - Purlear, NC
Shayna Abogado - Raeford, NC
Sara Lacombe - Selma, NC
Jim Frawley - Clayton, NC
Deborah Looney - Reglewood, NC
Mark Looney - Rieglewood, NC
Junior Board Members
Kheanne Boger - Rockwell, NC
Bella Grace Pria - Selma, NC
Michelle Tucker - Goldsboro, NC
Community Relations Director
Melissa Visser- New Bern, NC
Ex-Officio Board Members
Lisa Clairemont – Director - O’Berry Neuro Medical Treatment Center
Dennis Mays – Coordinator of Professional Services – O’Berry Neuro Medical Treatment Center
Pat Yates – Volunteer Services Coordinator – O’Berry Neuro Medical Treatment Center
Note: According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services regulations, O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center employees are not permitted to serve as voting board members of the O’Berry Center Foundation, but may serve as ex-officio (non-voting) board members.
The O’Berry Center Foundation was founded in 1990 by individuals affiliated with the O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center (OBNMTC) located in Goldsboro, NC. The OBNMTC is a state-run residential facility with the purpose of serving the developmentally disabled population. Back in 1990, parents and family member of residents housed at the OBNMTC wanted to do more for the developmentally disabled than often what the state could provide both at OBNMTC and in the communities it served. In order to address this need, they started a 501c3 nonprofit foundation known as the O’Berry Center Foundation.
Although service area and scope of programming has expanded, the mission has remained the same: to improve the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities so that they may live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. From 1990 to 2004, the Foundation was operated by an entirely volunteer board. The board of directors at that time felt that the Foundation needed to grow to help more families, so in 2004 they hired their first ever Executive Director. Through determination, commitment and a shared vision, OBCF has been transformed from an uncultivated Foundation to one that now follows a best practices model for nonprofits. Through strong leadership, accountability measures, ethical values, community partnerships and financial stability, the O’Berry Center Foundation is now primed to make a significant impact throughout the state of North Carolina and at the O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.
What Is the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center?
O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center (OBNMTC) is a Medicaid-certified facility for those with developmental disabilities. They treat approximately 290 clients from 67 counties in the eastern and south-central regions of North Carolina. The average age of those we serve is over 50. Most have significant health-related challenges. OBNMTC is one of the largest employers in Wayne County. Of our staff of 1,000, over 750 provide direct, hands-on care.
We employ certified nursing assistants, physicians, nurses, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech therapists, recreation therapists, dentists and dieticians.
Through the years, many beautiful parks and gardens have been added throughout the campus. In addition to casual use, a full calendar of outdoor activities and events help everyone enjoy these lovely spaces. Visitors at O’Berry are quickly struck that this friendly campus does not resemble a state institution.
The O’Berry Center opened in 1957 as a school for African-Americans with developmental disabilities. The facility was integrated in 1965. The treatment philosophy then was limited to academic/vocational training for the mildly retarded.
Over the years, O’Berry transitioned from a school to a regional center focused primarily on serving adults with severe and profound mental retardation. The emphasis shifted to basic skills training in areas such as self-care, home living and work programs.
Our teachers and vocational staff have developed over 159 on-campus jobs that are meaningful work for the individuals who work here. The vocational program is composed of products and crafts sold at our store, Berry Towne Crafts; our bakery, Sweet Treats; and our greenhouse, Green Thumb.
With more of our individuals needing intensive medical care, we are refocusing our efforts to provide medical, nursing and other services. In 2007, we changed our name to the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center.
Our admissions now focus on individuals who are either elderly or medically fragile, as well as having a developmental disability. Challenging behavior treatment needs may be included for admission consideration. Younger individuals who have developmental disabilities along with challenging behaviors and no significant medical conditions will be referred to the Caswell or Murdoch Developmental Centers.
The O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center is certified by the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Servicesfor both the ICF/MR Program and the Long Term Care Specialty Program (i.e., neuro-medical treatment)..
Programs We Offer In The Communities We Serve:
The foundation provides support to families living throughout our service area who are caring for a loved one with a developmental disability. Our main focus is to provide durable medical equipment for long term loan such as van lifts, in-home lift systems, orthopedic appliances, communication devices, recreational equipment, wheelchairs, special mattresses, therapeutic exercise equipment for which there are no other funding sources. We provide this equipment so families can stay together, and the individual can live more independently at home, work, school, recreational activities, or while volunteering in the community.
Designed to encourage individuals to pursue careers related to serving persons with developmental disabilities in the areas of health and human services. The goal of the scholarship program is to increase the number of Recreational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Psychologist, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Special Education Teachers, and Physical Therapist, etc., who are serving persons with developmental disabilities. Annually, the foundation awards $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in either a two or four-year degree program. Educational Seminars: One of our main goals is to educate the public about developmental disabilities. New this year, we will be offering four educational seminars on a variety of topics related to developmental disabilities. More information will be posted on our website as seminars are scheduled. If you have ideas on certain topics you would like to see covered in an Educational Seminar, please email Michelle Tucker or call at (919) 581-4187.
Designed specifically for young women and mothers who have limited educational skills and cognitive abilities. HomeGrown is a two-volume curriculum designed to prepare young women for labor and delivery and help them develop healthy parenting skills to better care for their young children. The Foundation obtained grants to produce these materials.
Programs We Offer For O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center:
Through our permanent endowment, we provide scholarships to O’Berry Center Employees or immediate family members who are increasing their educational skills to better serve individuals living with developmental disabilities.
The Foundation offers grants for creative and innovative projects at O’Berry Center to improve the quality of life for those who live there.
The Relationship Between O'berry Center Foundation and O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center
The O’Berry Center Foundation was started in 1990 by O'Berry Center Staff and families of persons living at O'Berry Center. The founders of the Foundation saw a need to help impact the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities in communities across North Carolina, not just at O'Berry Center. Although they bear the same name and are close partners in improving the lives of the developmentally disabled, they are two completely separate entities The Foundation receives no state or federal funding at this time.